Belgium - Wallonia

In 2007, about 5,500 farms produce milk in the Walloon Region (or 35% of the total number of Walloon farms). 40.5% of the dairy farms are specialized in dairy production (OTE 41) and 30.5% of the dairy farms are oriented in mixed bovine production “milk and meat” (OTE 43). Most of the specialized dairy farms are located in the district of Liege (36 % of the Walloon dairy herd and 29.5% of the total number of dairy cows holders): in the grassland region and in Haute Ardenne. There are also a lot of farms in the loamy area, Condroz and Ardenne.

Environmental regulations and main constraints

Nitrogen Sustainable management programme (PGDA) (started in February 2007) puts constraints on:

  • The soil linkage rate (the quantity of organic nitrogen produced reported to the spreading capacity) must be lower or equal to 1.
  • The spreading norms: 115 kg organic N/ha/year on crops, 230 kg organic N/ha/year on grasslands, with a maximum of 170 organic N/ha/year in average, on the farm, when located on vulnerable areas.
  • The maximum total nitrogen quantity: 250 kg total N/ha/year on crops, 350 kg total N/ha/year on grasslands.
  • The storage conditions for the organic Nitrogen on the farm and in the fields.
  • The spreading periods and conditions.

Water quality of the region

  • There was an improvement of the river quality in the Walloon Region during the last 30 years: the organic pollution and the phosphorous content have decreased. Regarding to the nitrogen (NO3- and NH4+), the evolution of the river quality is slower. There is also an important variability between the rivers.
  • The contamination of the groundwater by NO3- (concentrations higher than 40mg/l) is still slightly increasing, especially in some vulnerable areas.

Average region information

Agriculture area 62.2 ha (2007)
% grassland 59
% forage crops (maize…) 12
% others crops 29
Mineral fertilizer per ha 109 kg N (2001)
28 kg P2O5 (2001)
Dairy cows 40.7 (2007)
Milk per cow 5,796 kg (2007)
Milk quota 225,105 kg (2007)
Main diet of the cows 45% grazed grassland
45% grazed silage+hay
10% maize silage
1,624 Kg concentrate/cows
Time in pasture and period 1 May - 1 November (170 days)

Pilot Farms

  • Michel Piérard - Malèves Ste Marie (Perwez)
  • Eddy Pussemier - Ophain Bois-Seigneur-Isaac
  • Jean-Claude Willem - Vielsam
  • Dominique Bilocq - Châtillon (Saint-Léger)
  • Yves Stradiot - Hoves (Silly)
  • Wilfried Vanbiervliet - Rebecq - Rognon
  • Johan Heffinck - Morlanwelz-Mariemont
  • Etienne Allard - Petit-Enghien (Enghien)
  • Jacques De Boel - Willerzie
  • Vincent Sépult - Malempré (Manhay)
  • Jacques Labeye - Theux
  • Alain Ponthier - Sprimont
  • Alain Ransy - Beaufays (Chaudfontaine)
  • Jean-Louis Bastin - Stavelot
  • Olivier Lorge - Thy-le-Château
  • Jacky Schaus - Charneux(Herve)
  • Bernard Neycken - Andrimont
  • René Theissen - Manderfeld
  • Eric Jonkeau - Houffalize
  • Thomas Plennevaux - Ochamps
  • Philippe Deglin - Libramont